Back to Top
Events Calendar
Loading Events...
View full calendar

Emergency Evaluation Procedure

Curtis faculty, staff, and students may recognize that a student needs medical or psychiatric help. Early intervention keeps minor concerns minor and keeps students’ academic, professional, and personal lives running smoothly. If you think that a student is exhibiting signs of a problem, contact the appropriate staff as soon as possible.

What Constitutes an Emergency?

In Case of Emergency

Mental Health Team

Urgent Concerns (requiring immediate, but not emergency, intervention)

Nonurgent Concerns


Referral for Hospitalization

Helping a Student

Important Phone Numbers

University of Pennsylvania Student Health Service

What if I am Raped?

What constitutes an emergency?

  • A student has harmed or has threatened to harm him- or herself or anyone else
  • A student has sustained a serious physical injury
  • A student cannot take care of him- or herself (such as by not eating)
  • The student’s thinking is illogical or disorganized, or behavior is unpredictable
  • The student requests immediate attention from a professional

In case of emergency

First contact: Laurel Grady, associate dean of student life, (215) 717-3165
Office: Main Building

Second contact: Dan McDougall, associate dean of student and academic affairs, (215) 717-3160   Office: 1718 Locust

Use your good judgment about an emergency that cannot safely wait to be discussed with members of student services staff. Call 911 (Police/Fire/Rescue) if at all in doubt.

It is imperative that you contact a member of student services or call 911 in an emergency--even if a student asks you not to call--since not seeking help jeopardizes the health and safety of both the student and the community.

If the student is located in a Curtis building, call security (215) 717-3112 and remain with the student.

The associate dean of student life will consult with the school’s mental health team (Dr. Ellen Wright, (215) 732-3720) or the appropriate medical personnel at the University of Pennsylvania Student Health Service (215) 662-2850 to determine the next step in the student’s care.

Mental health team

The mental health team includes two psychologists and one psychiatrist. The psychologists, Dr. Ellen Wright (215) 732-3720 and Dr. Jesse Suh (215) 207-9373 , conduct initial assessment sessions with all students seeking mental health assistance. If in their clinical judgment the student needs to be seen for a psychiatric evaluation, they will refer the student to a consulting psychiatrist.

The mental health team works in concert to ensure that students are seen quickly and that every student gets thorough and complete mental health care. Information discussed with the mental health team is confidential among the team, safety of the student and community permitting.

Urgent concerns requiring immediate, but not emergency, intervention

When a member of the student services staff recognizes an urgent situation and need for assessment, s/he will connect the student with the mental health or medical team as appropriate. If the student agrees, the student will be seen for evaluation within forty-eight hours.

Nonurgent concerns

When a member of the student services staff recognizes a nonurgent behavioral or medical concern,  s/he refers the student to Curtis's mental health or medical team as appropriate.

Any concern about a student’s safety and that of the community should be discussed directly with Laurel Grady, associate dean of student life and international student affairs (215) 717-3165. Curtis faculty, staff, and students need not personally assess a student’s behavior.

For nonurgent situations, faculty, staff, or students can directly contact either consulting psychologist, Ellen L. Wright, Ph.D., at (215) 732-3720, or Jesse J. Suh, Psy.D. at (215) 207-9373.


A student or staff member who discusses concerns with a member of the student services staff is guaranteed privacy if requested, and safety permitting. There may be times when privacy is requested but circumstances dictate otherwise. Every effort is made to discuss this with the student. The associate dean of student services and the mental health team assess every situation and proceed appropriately. The associate dean of student services makes every effort to keep private the identity of the reporting student, staff member, or faculty member if requested.

Medical records will be kept confidential according to HIPAA requirements.

Referral for hospitalization

If the mental health team recommends inpatient psychiatric care for a student, the team will help coordinate the hospitalization. As part of the process, the mental health team may need to speak with involved faculty, staff, student, or family members.

Helping a student

Please talk with the student about your observations and concerns. Such acknowledgment often encourages a student to get help.

  • Be direct, specific, and nonjudgmental about what you have observed.
  • Express your concerns clearly with language and without excess display of emotion (such as anger, shock, or disappointment).
  • Listen carefully to understand the student's point of view.
  • If the situation involves a conflict with another person, make sure you listen openly to both parties so that you can understand the concerns fully.

Important Phone Numbers

Curtis Security Desk: (215) 717-3112
Associate Dean of Student Life: Laurel Grady (215) 717-3165
Associate Dean of Student and Academic Affairs: Dan McDougall (215) 717-3160
Director of Residence Life: Maggie Holroyd (215) 875-4256
Consulting Psychologist: Dr. Ellen L. Wright, (215) 732-3720, cell (267) 242-0553
Consulting Psychologist: Dr. Jesse J. Suh, (215) 207-9373
Dean: Paul Bryan: (215) 717-3125

University of Pennsylvania Student Health Service

3535 Market Street
Suite 100 Appointments: (215) 746-3535
Hours of operation


If you decide to report the assault call 9-1-1 or Special Victims unit at 215-685-3251 and they will take you to the Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center for an examination.